Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 12, 2016

The many shades of green building

Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Terry Greene

Sustainable living has found an enthusiastic following in Chattanooga as home builders and owners increasingly embrace ways to conserve natural resources and minimize the impact on environment.

Green home initiatives are important to builders, consumers, and our community because they promote lower total ownership costs through utility savings and increased durability, and they encourage environmental awareness and stewardship.

When considering if a green home is an option for you and your family, it’s important to realize there are many shades of green. In its simplest form, a green home may have one or more elements of sustainability that enhance energy efficiency or water conservation, such as a tankless water heater, programmable sprinkler system, or smart thermostat. In a step further, builders may use materials that are recycled and sustainable, or may include innovative features, like solar panels and stormwater irrigation systems. Any combination of these and many other building methods are viable options for the environmentally conscious builder and home buyer.

For those individuals ready to take green living to the next level, certified green homes are independently verified to be resource-efficient, durable, healthy, and cost-effective. Several voluntary certification programs give builders and consumers the power to be environmental stewards without the costly restrictions of mandatory regulation. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program are two such well-known rating systems.

The ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, the only residential green building rating system approved by the American National Standard Institute, is the preferred program of the National Home Builders Association (NHBA). Homes certified under this program are verified to be designed and built to achieve high performance in six areas: site design, resource efficiency, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and building operation and maintenance. NHBA also offers a Certified Building Professional accreditation for industry professionals.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga (HBAGC) and its members are committed to green building and environmentally friendly construction practices. Several builder members of HBAGC have achieved the highest levels of Green Building certification, exceeding limits to embrace such concepts as net zero energy and living and restorative building standards that improve the natural environment.

If you would like more information on green home building, please visit www.nahbgreen.org, or contact Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at (423) 624-9992 or info@HBAGC.net.